Area graduates plan for new beginnings

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Congratulations to the graduates in our area who have completed this phase of their education and who are now ready to tackle the world.

Few things in our society compare to the successful completion of formal education.

Be it high school or college graduation, these students have toiled for years in the classroom to achieve an admirable goal in preparation for their new beginning.

In a tradition that goes back countless years, these new graduates will be told - accurately - that they are indeed the leaders of tomorrow.

Most graduation speeches include this simple premise that those receiving their diplomas will soon enter the "real" world and will put to use the lessons learned in the classroom.

On behalf of all former graduates, let me tell you that in so many ways, the world you will soon inhabit is fraught with challenges and obstacles that are not of your making.

And yet we hope and expect that you will face these challenges and offer greater hope and promise for future graduates.

Perhaps it's just a product of age but most former graduates will opine that life was simpler and less complicated "back in the day."

The immediate challenge for today's graduates will be to harness the explosion in technology that can provide both good and bad.

Those high school graduates who plan to continue their education at a higher level will be faced with a changing world. We can only hope and pray that their educational foundation formed in high school will serve them well and give them the tools to succeed.

The social changes in this new society are constantly trying to divide our great nation into special interest groups seemingly pitted against one another. Yet a glance back in history will clearly show that all generations were faced with social obstacles on which there was never universal agreement.

The real challenge is to use these new emerging tools of technology to the benefit of mankind.

And quite frankly, I don't know how this challenge will end.

Technology that we have not yet imagined will be a two-edged sword. It's open to debate if these new technologies are improving our lives. But it's not open to debate that these improvements will change our lives.

Not one person who walked that graduation stage several years ago could have predicted with any accuracy where we find ourselves today. And looking into the future, none today can see what massive changes are on the horizon.

So graduates, we send you off into your new world with hope and expectations. Many burdens will fall upon your shoulders in the years to come, and like prior generations, you will face this brave new world with enthusiasm.

It is our prayer that someday you will leave this world a better place.

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